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Christian Grace and Pagan VirtueThe Theological Foundation of Ambrose’s Ethics$
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J. Warren Smith

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369939.001.0001

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The Body of Death

The Body of Death

The Legacy of the Fall

(p.43) 3 The Body of Death
Christian Grace and Pagan Virtue

J. Warren Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Having described in Chapter 2 Ambrose’s view of the proper relation between the intellect, the emotions, and the body prior to the fall, the book turns in this chapter to an examination of questions related to Ambrose’s conception of the fall and its effects upon the passions and the intellect. How is the corruption of sin transmitted from one generation to the next? Does the fall result in the transmission of death alone or is there also a corruption of human faculties with a loss of moral freedom, libertas? In what sense does humanity retain free will while yet in "slavery to sin"? Does the fall result in an inheritance of guilt or just weakness? This chapter explores these questions by a comparison of Ambrose’s description of human nature before the fall in Hexameron and human nature after the fall under the law in De Iacob.

Keywords:   Augustine, creation, faith, fall, hereditary sin, inclination to sin, parable of the Good Samaritan, Paul, Romans, sin, slavery, voluntas

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